Social Security Cards to Be Given Financial Functions
To provide fast and convenient service to social security card holders, several financial functions will be added to the cards. Human Resources and Social Security Minister Hu Xiaoyi said that the multi-purpose social security cards will allow tasks such as bank withdrawals and money transfers.
As of July there were 145 million social security card holders in China and that number is expected to increase to 190 million by year’s end. The country plans to issue 800 million social security cards by 2015, giving benefits to 60 percent of the total population in accordance with the 12th Five Year Program. The cards can be used to pay medical bills, and plans to expand the services will allow the cardholders to withdraw their pensions and pay social insurance programs using the cards.
More improvements will be done to the card’s functions and there will be no plans to merge the national ID cards and social security cards since both cards have different functions. Residents have also been told that identity theft is not possible since information is stored in a computer chip which is more secure and holds more information.